(also called Frayser's Farm)
Location: Glendale, VA
Date: June 30, 1862
George McClellan, Major General
Robert E. Lee, General
After engaging CS General
Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia,
at Savage's Station, US Major General
George B. McClellan continued his retreat
toward the James River. McClellan's Army of the Potomac was strung out
over Elko Road and the Charles City Road, with the lead elements moving towards Frayser's Farm, along the Willis Church Road.
Lee, hoping to crush the retreating Army of
the Potomac, while it was spread out, devised a complicated tactical plan.
Ordering CS Major General
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, to pursue the
rear guard, of the Army of the Potomac, from White Oak Bridge, CS Major
James Longstreet, would push due east,
along the Darbytown Road, attacking the center of
McClellan's line on Willis Church Road.
CS Major General
Benjamin Huger's division would open the
offensive pushing east along the Charles City Road.
Robert E. Lee's complicated plan quickly
Jackson's division quickly ran into
trouble, when he approached the White Oak Swamp Creek, where he found the
bridge destroyed, by the retreating Federal Army. Amazingly, with
other crossing points within easy reach, Thomas Jackson decided that US
William Franklin's VI Corps, operating as
the rear guard, was too strong to assault directly. Instead Jackson
opted to open an artillery barrage. The resulting artillery duel would
effectively take "Stonewall" Jackson out of the fight at Glendale.
Benjamin Huger's, division, also ran into
difficulties. Assigned to open the battle at Glendale, his force,
approaching Willis Church Road, from the west, along the Charles City Road,
would find their path blocked by felled trees, and instead of a coordinated
James Longstreet's division, pushing east
on the Darbytown Road, Huger would settle for an artillery action.
Huger's artillery fire, to the north,
believed Huger's infantry assault had started, pushed his division into the
Federal line along the Willis Church Road. Longstreet's assault
included CS Major General
Ambrose Powell Hill's division. After
opening with an artillery barrage, Longstreet's and Hill's division pushed a
piecemeal, largely uncoordinated assault into US Brigadier General George
McCall's 6,000 man division. Although within close proximity of
Longstreet's assault, on the middle, Longstreet received no support from
either Thomas Jackson's division, or Benjamin Huger's division.
Confederate forces did experience some success,
breaking the 40,000 man Federal line, as there were gaps in the line.
McCall's line would be breached, however with close support from the II and
III Corps, the line was quickly reformed and easily held against
In a last feeble attempt, to prevent the Army of
the Potomac from reaching the easily defended
Robert E. Lee sent CS Major General
John Magruder's three divisions to support
CS Major General Theophilus Holmes' efforts near Malvern Hill.
Unfortunately, Holmes had been pushed aside before Magruder could reach him,
allowing the Army of the Potomac to reach Malvern Hill.
The Seven Days
Outcome: Union victory
Union: 2,700 (killed, wounded or missing/captured)
Confederate: 3,600 (killed, wounded or missing/captured)
Robert E Lee's best chance of destroying
the Army of the Potomac was lost at Frayser's Farm. With
McClellan's forces spread out, Lee decided
on a very complex multi front attack, to crush the Federals. As in so
many other cases, tactics like this failed due to poor communication,
impeding proper timing, of the spread out attacking army. With
Benjamin Huger's and
Thomas Jackson's proposed infantry attacks
reduced to an artillery bombardment, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia would
only push two divisions, under
Hill, in an uncoordinated fashion, into the
strong Northern lines. Because of Lee's failure, to keep
George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac
Malvern Hill, Lee would face another
disaster there, which would allow the Union army to reach the relative
safety of Harrison's Landing, on the James River, where Abraham Lincoln
would force McClellan to withdraw from the peninsula - ending the Seven
Days. Close Window